Monday, March 20, 2006

Resolving to Improve Your Weakness

After a disappointing performance in one of my courses, I've decided to redouble my efforts in order to improve.

The course in question was Anatomy, and even after some drastic measures (maybe I'll show you later), I know I could have done better.

After writing the practical midterm, I realized that I placed too much of my focus on the theoretical portion, and I didn't study certain parts that I felt were really boring/complicated. As one would expect, I did quite poorly on the parts that I didn’t study properly for.

This leads me to a lesson I picked up a while ago, but apparently forgot to apply: If there is a subject or topic that you find boring or difficult, you shouldn’t leave it until the end, nor should you spend less time on it as it suits you. You should work on this subject/topic first, and you should work on it the hardest.

If you find a topic boring, it generally means that you won’t do as well as you could. This is due to a lack of a will to learn and the general poor retention that results from chronic apathy. To combat this, you must disproportionately increase your effort in this area to make up for a lack of interest. (By disproportional I mean you'll need more effort to learn the same amount of information because it’s harder to absorb – initially, at least.)

When you start to really intensely study a "less interesting" subject, you'll find that an interesting thing happens: You will actually start enjoying the subject more.

A collective "Gwah?" comes from the masses.

It's true though. Once you begin to learn more, the concepts enter your brain increasingly quickly. You start to feel excited as a once insurmountable mountain becomes a very manageable speed bump. You start making connections within the subject matter, and you start to see how things interrelate. The concepts actually have flow! Maybe the course was taught in this order for a reason. Maybe there is a reason your professor finds the material more interesting than her own apparel, which would explain why she only wears those floral print shirts... bleck.

The main point is that in order to be successful in a topic that isn't your fancy, you will have to put additional focus and resources towards it. It will start getting easier and easier, I swear. But you're going to have to try it to find out. All you have to lose is a disdain for some subject...

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